Author Topic: Cool Hand Barack  (Read 6275 times)

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2011, 11:47:49 am »
The counter argument is that "strength" is what is most respected, particularly in the Middle East (worked for decades, though we do see recent revolts, so it is complex). I don't know.
I guess that depends on what you mean by "worked" and for whom.
If by "strength" you mean invading countries that didn't attack us resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of people, I respectfully disagree.

What I do know is that if we can get information to foil terrorist attacks before they happen, we should do so. In my opinion.
Sure, but the hard question is by what means? Are you advocating anything goes?
Although I readily admit that drawing the lines is difficult and complex, I believe it has to be done. Even if the details are classified to maximize effectiveness.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2011, 03:03:57 pm »
From this account, sounds like killing him was the only play.  He probably wasn't going to talk, and we got his computers...better he die than one of our servicemen.

Osama Bin Laden Dead: Raiders Knew Mission A One-Shot Deal
 
KIMBERLY DOZIER   05/17/11 07:06 AM ET   

WASHINGTON Those who planned the secret mission to get Osama bin Laden in Pakistan knew it was a one-shot deal, and it nearly went terribly wrong.

The U.S. deliberately hid the operation from Pakistan, and predicted that national outrage over the breach of Pakistani sovereignty would make it impossible to try again if the raid on bin Laden's suspected redoubt came up dry.

Once the raiders reached their target, things started to go awry almost immediately, officials briefed on the operation said.

Adding exclusive new details to the account of the assault on bin Laden's hideout, officials described just how the SEAL raiders loudly ditched a foundering helicopter right outside bin Laden's door, ruining the plan for a surprise assault. That forced them to abandon plans to run a squeeze play on bin Laden simultaneously entering the house stealthily from the roof and the ground floor.

Instead, they busted into the ground floor and began a floor-by-floor storming of the house, working up to the top level where they had assumed bin Laden if he was in the house would be.

They were right.

The raiders came face-to-face with bin Laden in a hallway outside his bedroom, and three of the Americans stormed in after him, U.S. officials briefed on the operation told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a classified operation.

U.S. officials believe Pakistani intelligence continues to support militants who attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and actively undermine U.S. intelligence operations to go after al-Qaida inside Pakistan. The level of distrust is such that keeping Pakistan in the dark was a major factor in planning the raid, and led to using the high-tech but sometimes unpredictable helicopter technology that nearly unhinged the mission.

Pakistan's government has since condemned the action, and threatened to open fire if U.S. forces enter again.

Story continues below
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AdvertisementOn Monday, the two partners attempted to patch up relations, agreeing to pursue high-value targets jointly.

The decision to launch on that particular moonless night in May came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan. U.S. officials feared if it leaked to the press, bin Laden would disappear for another decade.

U.S. special operations forces have made approximately four forays into Pakistani territory since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, though this one, some 90 miles inside Pakistan, was unlike any other, the officials say.

The job was given to a SEAL Team 6 unit, just back from Afghanistan, one official said. This elite branch of SEALs had been hunting bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan since 2001.

Five aircraft flew from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, with three school-bus-size Chinook helicopters landing in a deserted area roughly two-thirds of the way to bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, two of the officials explained.

Aboard two Black Hawk helicopters were 23 SEALs, an interpreter and a tracking dog named Cairo. Nineteen SEALs would enter the compound, and three of them would find bin Laden, one official said, providing the exact numbers for the first time.

Aboard the Chinooks were two dozen more SEALs, as backup.

The Black Hawks were specially engineered to muffle the tail rotor and engine sound, two officials said. The added weight of the stealth technology meant cargo was calculated to the ounce, with weather factored in. The night of the mission, it was hotter than expected.

The Black Hawks were to drop the SEALs and depart in less than two minutes, in hopes locals would assume they were Pakistani aircraft visiting the nearby military academy.

One Black Hawk was to hover above the compound, with SEALs sliding down ropes into the open courtyard.

The second was to hover above the roof to drop SEALs there, then land more SEALs outside plus an interpreter and the dog, who would track anyone who tried to escape and to alert SEALs to any approaching Pakistani security forces.

If troops appeared, the plan was to hunker down in the compound, avoiding armed confrontation with the Pakistanis while officials in Washington negotiated their passage out.

The two SEAL teams inside would work toward each other, in a simultaneous attack from above and below, their weapons silenced, guaranteeing surprise, one of the officials said. They would have stormed the building in a matter of minutes, as they'd done time and again in two training models of the compound.

The plan unraveled as the first helicopter tried to hover over the compound. The Black Hawk skittered around uncontrollably in the heat-thinned air, forcing the pilot to land. As he did, the tail and rotor got caught on one of the compound's 12-foot walls. The pilot quickly buried the aircraft's nose in the dirt to keep it from tipping over, and the SEALs clambered out into an outer courtyard.

The other aircraft did not even attempt hovering, landing its SEALs outside the compound.

Now, the raiders were outside, and they'd lost the element of surprise.

They had trained for this, and started blowing their way in with explosives, through walls and doors, working their way up the three-level house from the bottom.

They had to blow their way through barriers at each stair landing, firing back, as one of the men in the house fired at them.

They shot three men as well as one woman, whom U.S. officials have said lunged at the SEALs.

Small knots of children were on every level, including the balcony of bin Laden's room.

As three of the SEALs reached the top of the steps on the third floor, they saw bin Laden standing at the end of the hall. The Americans recognized him instantly, the officials said.

Bin Laden also saw them, dimly outlined in the dark house, and ducked into his room.

The three SEALs assumed he was going for a weapon, and one by one they rushed after him through the door, one official described.

Two women were in front of bin Laden, yelling and trying to protect him, two officials said. The first SEAL grabbed the two women and shoved them away, fearing they might be wearing suicide bomb vests, they said.

The SEAL behind him opened fire at bin Laden, putting one bullet in his chest, and one in his head.

It was over in a matter of seconds.

Back at the White House Situation Room, word was relayed that bin Laden had been found, signaled by the code word "Geronimo." That was not bin Laden's code name, but rather a representation of the letter "G." Each step of the mission was labeled alphabetically, and "Geronimo" meant that the raiders had reached step "G," the killing or capture of bin Laden, two officials said.

As the SEALs began photographing the body for identification, the raiders found an AK-47 rifle and a Russian-made Makarov pistol on a shelf by the door they'd just run through. Bin Laden hadn't touched them.

They were among a handful of weapons that were removed to be inventoried.

It took approximately 15 minutes to reach bin Laden, one official said. The next 23 or so were spent blowing up the broken chopper, after rounding up nine women and 18 children to get them out of range of the blast.

One of the waiting Chinooks flew in to pick up bin Laden's body, the raiders from the broken aircraft and the weapons, documents and other materials seized at the site.

The helicopters flew back to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and the body was flown to a waiting U.S. Navy ship for bin Laden's burial at sea, ensuring no shrine would spring up around his grave.

When the SEAL team met President Barack Obama, he did not ask who shot bin Laden. He simply thanked each member of the team, two officials said.

In a few weeks, the team that killed bin Laden will go back to training, and in a couple months, back to work overseas.


michaelintp

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 06:31:08 am »
We've heard several versions of the facts, and now we have yet another version.

I am, of course, interested in what happened, but I doubt we will ever get a clear picture, through the fog of different perceptions filtered through different agendas. 

In the context of this discussion, though, what I am really interested in is the moral question of targeted assassination through a Presidential kill order. While I have no problem with this, what interested me in the discussion above is that nobody expressed any strong moral/ethical objection to this, even under the scenario of Bin Laden standing in a room unarmed surrounded by weapons-wielding U.S. soldiers. I found this reaction to be interesting. At most, Reginald suggested that it is a topic worthy of debate, and suggested it might be healthier to have captured him alive to hold a war crimes trial, but that was as far as Reginald would go. I don't recall anyone expressing the view that it would be morally wrong to outright kill an unarmed target (known to be unarmed).

I have to wonder if all this had transpired under the Bush Administration, if reactions of moral outrage would have been so muted. I have to wonder, if 9/11 had happened under the Obama Administration and waterboarding had been initiated under Presidential authorization, whether the reactions would be similarly muted.

Just as the story of the assault may be filtered through agendas, might moral reactions be filtered through partisan bias? Maybe???

michaelintp

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2011, 06:34:22 am »
What happened to Magic Wand's detailed critique of the story of the assault set forth in the article, above?  I thought it was interesting. Magic Wand, why did you remove it?

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2011, 07:07:31 am »
It show up in "most recent posts". But not on the thread itself.

I think the board is acting up.

As far as the reason why there seem t be no outcry re: Bin Laden being just shot in the head.

Does anybody remember the hysterical national freakout when it was suggested we try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC?

I don't remember witnessing greater display of nation punkdom recently.

Frigging INDIA managed to get up the sack to civilly try the one guy it caught regarding the Mumbai attacks but that was utterly out of the question here.

AND KSM is a small fry as these things go.

Had they taken Bin Laden alive all anybody'd be doing now would be arguing if he should be shot outright, or beaten up and THEN shot.

Had they actually tried to try him, the national loudmouths would have thrown a fit.There's a coversation about rule of law to be had here, but nobody in this country is trying to hear it. And it doesn't matter who the President is.


But I DO recollect Obama using the words "FIND AND KILL" during the campaign.

Why should it be a shock when it turned out he meant what he said?   

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2011, 09:01:51 am »
What happened to Magic Wand's detailed critique of the story of the assault set forth in the article, above?  I thought it was interesting. Magic Wand, why did you remove it?

I relocated the post to the Osama bin Laden dead thread.
Seems more appropriate there.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Доверяй, но проверяй

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2011, 09:19:08 am »

I have to wonder if all this had transpired under the Bush Administration, if reactions of moral outrage would have been so muted. I have to wonder, if 9/11 had happened under the Obama Administration and waterboarding had been initiated under Presidential authorization, whether the reactions would be similarly muted.

Just as the story of the assault may be filtered through agendas, might moral reactions be filtered through partisan bias? Maybe???

No. 

No one cares if bin Laden was armed or not.  If Bush had done this instead of wasting time, money and lives in Iraq, he would have been applauded by the world.  It's hard to remember back that far, but everyone was on our side when America was attacked.  We just squandered all that goodwill.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2011, 09:35:10 am »
Just as the story of the assault may be filtered through agendas, might moral reactions be filtered through partisan bias? Maybe.  ???

Just because you see the world through a partisan filter...  8)   ;)
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2011, 06:54:52 pm »
Just as the story of the assault may be filtered through agendas, might moral reactions be filtered through partisan bias? Maybe.  ???

Just because you see the world through a partisan filter...  8)   ;)

Actually, I believe I'm being pretty consistent. Don't oppose what Obama authorized, don't oppose what Bush authorized. Spread credit all around. Non-partisan.

What got me thinking about this was that I remember the outrage and strong views expressed some years ago on the HEF by many on the Left regarding "targeted assassinations" (conducted by another nation), compared to the fairly muted response now. I also was thinking of Reginald's fairly noncommittal attitude now, though he is often not shy in expressing strong opinions. I also thought of your argument that waterboarding might alienate the Islamic world (and thus in the long run not save lives despite preventing some terrorist attacks) ... but, yet, you didn't extend the argument to suggest that America's sending military troops into a sovereign Muslim nation with whom we are not at war, Pakistan, without the consent of its government, to kill a number of persons on Pakistani soil including Bin Laden, might just alienate many in the Islamic world. The only significant difference I see between the two very similar concerns is that one thing was authorized by Bush, and the other thing was authorized by Obama.  

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2011, 07:20:18 pm »
There are a lot of progressives who have a hard time with Obama's hawkish policies - Cornel West and Jon Stewart, to name two high profile critics.

In my opinion, Pakistan is clearly a crappy ally.  They are unstable, disloyal and keep cranking out nuclear bombs.  With friends like that....

michaelintp

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2011, 07:44:41 pm »
There are a lot of progressives who have a hard time with Obama's hawkish policies - Cornel West and Jon Stewart, to name two high profile critics.

Haha, I know some others have raised objections ... but I was talking about the folks here, in our little family of the Hudlin Entertainment Forum.

Jon Stewart? Does anyone have a link to a clip (since I don't have cable ...). I can imagine ...  ;D

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Cool Hand Barack
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2011, 11:03:21 pm »
I don't remember the complaints you're referencing, so I can't response the the comparison between the two circumstances. Since Iraq was was pointless, pretty much anything associated with it was a bad idea.

As for the hit on bid Laden, I have no problem with it.  The "kill/capture" program overall....well, I like the surgical nature of it, but there's a whole lot of killings with no due process.  I think of the great film SYRIANA and their depiction of the circumstance of a remote killing.  That felt like a very sad but true depiction of how our foriegn policies are enacted.